Saturday, February 16, 2013

PowToon Update!

Since my inital post on PowToon, a few things have changed!  First, I shared the initial PowToon presentation with a student in my class', mother. After she showed the video to her child, she replied back with the comment below.

" When I told T*** you sent her a special video, she wanted to watch. I hit play and without  sound, it was difficult to gets her attention to watch initially. Once she saw the words he was interested but it went too fast for her to read it all and I started losing her. She seemed indifferent about the cartoon. I think seeing her face or faces of peers/staff she has a relationship with seems to engage him a bit more. I do love use of the words. I think she would enjoy hearing your voice reading while she follows along."

From T**** mom's feedback, I went back into PowToon and edited the video to go slower. I also added in pictures of myself and pictures of T***. When I added audio, I found that only 1 audio track could be added to the PowToon presentation. I was NOT able to delineate which audio track played on which slide. I then opted to take out the audio. 

After creating my first presentation with PowToon, I made a post on the PowToon's Facebook page inquiring about a PowToon app.  I think using PowToon would be easier on an iPad or tablet.  I think it would be easier to manipulate the presentation with fingers, than with a mouse.  Below was their prompt response. I am eager to try out the PowToon app once it is available! Since I have "Liked" their page on Facebook, I predict they will post updates as the release date becomes closer.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Just amazing! This site took me a little longer than many of the other Web 2.0 sites I've explored, however, the results are much more noticiable!  PowToon is a presentation site that has various themed and animated characters, props, backgrounds, text options, and transitions.  Users can drag, manipulate objects and text in the presentation to enhance the presentation.  The picture above shows the screen that the user uses to create the presentation. PowToon has different features available for various costs. See below for a price overview. The main difference in subscriptions, aside from the price, is the length of each PowToon presentation. They vary from 45 seconds, Free subscription to 25 minutes, teacher subscription.

PowToon Pricing
Educator Subscription$27/year
Class Subscription$47/year
Student Subscription$17/year
FREE SubscriptionFREE

From an education standpoint, PowToon is newer, available in August 2011, not commonly viewed, eye catching, and provides a different type presentation for viewers.  PowToon might be a great way for teachers who create presentations frequently, to share information to their students or staff.  Another use for PowToon is to create social stories for students with disabilities.  Here is a social story I created using PowToon, to help a student when they are sitting on the carpet.

Students could use PowToon to create their own stories and/or presentations.  Once the presentation is created, the user can share their presentation via social media sites.

PowToon frequently updates their site and creates newer and better types of technology for PowToon presentations. In the last few months, PowToon added voiceovers and uploaded photos to their presentation.  Users can check PowToon on FacebookPowToon Blog, and PowToon on Twitter for more updates on PowToon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


ThingLink is another Web 2.0 tool that allows users to upload or use a provided list of photos, to the site.  Once on the site, the original user can "edit" the photo and add tags to it. The tags that you attach can be link to other websites and/or add comments.  You may attach numerous tags to the photo.  Once you create the photo, you have the option for the ThingLink photo to be unlisted or open for the public to tag and edit.

I used ThingLink to share details about an event we had in school. I was able to tag the photo of the event, with a video, a link that corresponded to the topic of the photo, and a comment describing the photo.  Another idea that I have is to post a picture and encourage parents to tag the photo with their related comments, photos, videos, and/or website links.  For older students, teachers could post a picture of a topic they were going to study. Students could then tag the photo with information that they know about that topic. It would allow the teacher to evaluate what prior knowledge the class has on a topic. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Study Ladder

Study Ladder is a Web 2.0 tool that allows teachers to create a profile and a class.  When the teacher creates a class of students, usernames and passwords are created.  The teacher can then assign, to the whole class, or to individual students, videos, interactive assignments, and/or worksheets.  These resources are available for Art, Financial Literacy, Health, Safety, & citizenship, Language & Culture, Literacy, Mastering Numeracy, Mathematics, Music, Science, and Study Sheets.  Aside from having a variety of "Task" topics, each topic has ranges from prekindergarten - 12th grade.  

I just bagan exploring this site, and so far I am excited about the differentiation that it allows.  I like that I can assign a "task" to my entire class AND I am able to assign a task to specific students, who might need extra help or more of a challenge.  

On a student level, children are able to create an Avitar.  They can also earn points for each task they complete and then spend their points to "buy" Avitar features and to purchase things to put in their virtual bedroom. 

I've set up a teacher account, class, and tasks for 1 student.  After briefly explaining the site to one of the parents in my class, I asked her to try it out and give me feedback about the site. Below is her comment. 

"Hi Ms. Hagler, we just checked the new web program and we think its an awesome program. We like that its very easy to understand and child friendly. With all 6 tasks, my child did not have a problem figuring out what to do. There's nothing about it that we do not like. The only hard part about it was the new vocabulary that she does not use on a daily basis like "Ban, Nan, Crate, Smog, and Pram", but this would be good to help build her vocabulary. What was easy about it? I'd say pretty much everything. It took her about 20 min. to complete all the tasks. Let us know if there is anything else you would like us to answer. Overall, it is a great site. =) "

I now plan on sharing this site with a few more students, as well as, using some of the videos and activities in my future lessons. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Edmodo is a social networking site for educators to use with their stuents and their parents.  Edmodo allows teachers to create various "groups" to correspond with different groups of students.  For example, "7th Period - Algebra" or "4th Period Spanish."  Students are then given a group code with allow them to see what you post on that code specific page. As a teacher, you will have an Edmodo "wall."  Students and parents with the group code, will be able to view only the "wall" to that they are a member of.  As teachers, you can remove people from groups and reset passwords.  Additionally, teachers and students and parents may send posts to the entire class or to just the teacher. 

On the each group wall, teachers and students can post pictures, links, assignments, quizes, alerts, and/or notes (similar to wall posts on Facebook).  Teachers can also use Edmodo as a gradebook for students and parents to view.  Documents and pictures are also able to be uploaded into the "Library" for students and parents to view that way. 

This is my 2nd year using Edmodo with my Kindergarten classroom.  I use it differently than most teachers, who teach older students.  My main use of Edmodo is to communicate with parents.  I post updates and information to parents about what we're learning, interesting things that occur in our class, important dates, and assignments.  I have also created sub groups, within my whole class Edmodo page, for the 4 reading levels in my class.  This allows me to message groups of parents, specific words and strategies that their child is working on.  Parents have used Edmodo to set up playdates with other students, share summer camp dates, and inform other parents about various events that are occurring throughout their community.  During our November parent-teacher conferences, every single parent commented on Edmodo.  They commented on how appreciative they were to know what was going on in school.  Most also shared, by knowing what was going on, they were able to facilitate more conversations with their child. 

This is a video I created to show parents HOW to set up an account and how our class would use Edmodo. 

This video will also explain other uses of Edmodo.

What ARE Web 2.0 Tools?

Welcome to my Blog!! This blog will focus on various Web 2.0 tools.  Web 2.0 is a popular phrase that many of us have heard of.  Let's begin with WHAT Web 2.0 tools actually are.  It's nothing you can find in your Craftsman toolbox, so don't go looking!  Web 2.0 tools allow users to interact and collaborate with each other online.  Some Web 2.0 tools include, but are not limited to, Wiki's, blogs, social networking, and many more!  Below are some websites that you can visit to learn more about Web 2.0 tools.

Web 2.0 Tools for Education
Finding The Perfect Web 2.0 Tool
Web 2.0 Teaching Tools